Searching for the Red

Dec 312007
Authors: Erik Myers

The race for the GOP ticket is a tossup like none other. I’ve loved watching the twists and turns and drama bombs that have gone off and no single candidate has escaped the flak, and I love it.

The GOP wars are far more fun to watch than the plodding back-and-forth clashing that drags on between Clinton and Obama, with the occasional squeak from Edwards. That whole affair is summed up by media wizards as such: Clinton is a directionless ice queen with a shifty campaign staff, while Obama is a national politics virgin whose dopey idealism makes him fresh for the pounding. Meanwhile, the GOP race has become a dogfight for the ages, with Romney and Huckabee riding the roller coaster that is Iowa, while Giuliani and McCain making the retreat to New Hampshire where the action is picking up, all while Dr. Ron Paul prepares to unleash his army of scrawny libertarians upon us all.

But the action of the GOP race is nil in Iowa City, to my great disappointment. After a few hours of aimless scrounging, we came across the “New York Corner” of town: the strange neighboring offices of Clinton and Giuliani. We stepped into the Giuliani office first, where a team of supporters manned phone lines and filed forms with swift determination. The blare of Fox News was mere background noise to these young neo-cons.

As Iwamoto snapped photos, the rest of us struck up conversation with two volunteers as they marked up forms. I was shocked when the round-faced fellow told us that Giuliani’s office was the only (italic) conservative station in the city.

“Romney and Huckabee are focusing on Western Iowa, where the conservatives are,” he said. “You’ll find it’s a bit more left-leaning out in here, in the east.”

In the background, one volunteer muttered “awwwwk-ward” as she put down the phone, punctuating his point.

While our group has plans to check out Huckabee tomorrow, and hopefully Romney the following day, I’m disappointed with the lack of visible conservatives so far. Perhaps the silent majority is in full effect out here, or maybe everyone is too busy watching the Bowls to bother with this political shit (even though the Hawkeyes and the Cyclones are almost as shitty as the Rams). Even our excursion into a military surplus store this afternoon, one awash in “redneck and proud of it” gear, was managed by liberal-leaning mothers. There is a disturbing lack of Ron Paul in this landscape; I was saddened to read that the blimp’s floating above fucking Florida. YouTube videos of that grey creeper do not do my eyes justice.

I’m left to wonder if we’ll be lucky enough to hit a nice red splotch in this bluish territory we have pushed into; hopefully Huckabee’s presence in Cedar Rapids tomorrow will bring me a right-winger. As for tonight, the New Year brings new hopes and new surprises: The youth of the Rudy office seem to know Iowa City hotspots better than anyone else we’ve spoken with. We don’t know if these young locals know what’s up when it comes to getting down in this city, but I remain optimistic.


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